For some, snorkeling is a passive activity that one might participate in while on vacation or on a cruise. For others, snorkeling is a serious sport. The thrill of finding and then exploring new and uncharted waters is incredible; certainly worth every moment and penny spent in traveling to each destination.
Here are some of the world’s finest waters for the best spots to mingle with aquatic wildlife. If you’re an avid snorkeling fanatic, or even have a budding interest in the sport, grab your gear and head on out to one of these amazing blue destinations. Be sure, you won’t be sorry!
Stingray World, Moorea
Moorea is located within the lagoons of Tahiti. There you will find Stingray World, aptly named because of the incredible population of stingrays found within the shallow waters off of the sandbanks. Your snorkeling experience will have you staring right into the eyes of some of the friendliest stingrays on earth and, if you play your cards right, you’ll get to touch them as they carefully eat squid right out of your hands!
Red Sea, Egypt
Off the coast of Safaga, Egypt you’ll find one of the hottest destinations for both snorkelers and divers. Visitors will travel to Soma Bay where they can trek to the end of the pier for snorkeling and diving adventures. The Red Sea, surprisingly, houses quite a few of the same species you’ll find in the tropics, as well as some more unique ones. Look carefully and you may even see a lionfish!
Bonaire, Caribbean Islands
Off the coast of Bonaire in the Dutch Antilles you’ll find one of the most beautiful snorkeling destinations on earth. The inhabitants of the reef off the shores of Bonaire are protected, as the coastline has been named an official marine park. Here you’ll see a variety of coral species, including elkhorn, brain coral, and even staghorn. Relax and enjoy the view as you watch millions of fish flutter about the reef.
Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has always been an incredibly popular snorkeling destination. Enthusiasts from all over the year travel to Heron Island each year to snorkel and explore the beautiful reefs. Those who prefer to stay on ground will enjoy the resort’s famous reef walk, while those who want to snorkel won’t have to venture far from shore to marvel at the green sea turtles, sting rays, and beautiful aquatic reefs. Prepare to be amazed!
Norman Reef, Australia
Norman Reef, off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, is another popular Great Barrier Reef destination. This reef is only accessible by boat, which will drop you off on a large covered platform complete with a dive shop and restaurant. Snorkeling fans can swim out to the coral shelf to explore the incredible fish and clam species. Those who want to stay dry can visit the underwater observatory!
San Blas Islands, Panama
There are over 365 islands in the archipelago known as San Blas, but visiting these islands is a unique experience. You’ll have to fly in from Panama City, and each day the Kuna Indians who live on the islands will take you to some of the other uninhabited islands for snorkeling and exploration in the incredibly clear waters! Find incredibly discounted Panama hotels.
Huahine, French Polynesia
The island of Huahine in French Polynesia is also referred to as the “Golden Island” because of its incredible and colorful tropical plants. Off the coast of the white sandy beaches you’ll find incredible snorkeling destinations. Simply walk off the beach, or find a boat to take you to some of the outer reefs where you can simply go with the flow and enjoy mingling with the fish.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji Islands
Located on Vanua Levu, the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is one of the best destinations for snorkeling and diving (as if the name didn’t give that fact away). Spend your nights in a private bungalow and then spend your days snorkeling off of the pier at the front of the island. A boat is available to take those who would like to explore the waters further out. There aren’t many resorts that will equip guests with flashlights and a guide for an evening snorkeling adventure – an experience you’ll never forget!
Kealakeua Bay, Hawaii
There are dozens of beautiful Hawaiian snorkeling destinations, but Kealakekua Bay off of the Big Island. The only drawback is that it’s difficult to access – you can hike 2.5 miles, kayak, or have a Dive Cruise take you out to the reef. The trip is worth the effort, though – depending on the season, you are more likely than not to see spinner dolphins, humpback whales and more!
La Jolla Cove, California
Believe it or not, you don’t even have to leave the continental United States to go snorkeling. The La Jolla Cove Park in San Diego, California is actually part of an ecological reserve in order to protect the cove’s wildlife. Simply walk off the beach to visit the spectacular varieties of tropical fish, orange garibaldi, smelt, opaleyes, bass, and shovelnose guitarfish, amongst others. There are plenty of incredible caverns and coves to keep you busy at La Jolla.
Beginners, advanced snorkelers, and even land lovers are guaranteed a magnificent and unforgettable experience at each of these amazing spots. Mother nature has blessed us with some beautiful wildlife and sceneries – relax and enjoy the experience!